Well, what a balmy June. However, partly as a consequence of this balminess, I feel like the garden has got away from me this month. There has been too much indulging in garden visiting (there have been others, watch this space…) and just not enough proper graft. One thing I have spent a significant amount of time doing is watering – especially all my pots.
Whilst others around the country have had some significant downpours, we’ve had nothing but the odd shower and as a consequence I’m developing arms like Popeye from carrying endless watering cans around. Whilst we’re lucky enough to have a well (and associated complicated pump and holding tanks) the water pressure isn’t high enough to use a hose, hence the endless cans – and impressive muscles!
So, having made my excuses, here we go. The first picture is the grass bed. I still love the Stipa tenuissima, but the rest of the bed is looking rather a mess. The hope was that the dark nasturtium (Nasturtium Black Velvet) would pick up on the dark orange of the buds of the fox and cubs, but the latter seem to be going over, and rather than orange I have numerous tiny dandelion type seed heads, which don’t go with anything.
On a more positive note, behind the fox and cubs, but in front of the grasses, I’ve planted a whole row of the Verbascum chaixii album which I grew from seed last year. These are just starting to flower so hopefully by next month I will have pulled out the spent fox and cubs and have some towering verbascums to admire.
This is the left hand swing bed, which is looking a bit exhausted. I haven’t pulled up the foxgloves yet in the hope that they’ll self seed, but the combination of them, the brown Nectoscordum heads and my very poorly Euphorbia wulfenii is not good. However, hopefully some concerted effort in pulling all the above out, cutting back the geraniums (out of shot at the front of the picture), and giving some space, food, time and water to various annuals I’ve planted out recently (Cosmos Rubenza, Malope, Cleomes) as well as the existing Astrantia, Roses and Penstemons, will pull things back from the brink.
The ‘Med Beds’ (ie Mediterranean) either side of the greenhouse door are looking rather better. The Geranium and Potentilla are flowering well, the Eryngium are preparing themselves and I’ve planted out many of the Agapanthus I grew from seed. I don’t suppose they’ll flower this year, but fingers crossed for next. I’m also pleased with the Euphorbia mysinites (at the front), which I also grew from seed and must now be about four years old.
This is the left hand Lavender Bed, the ones described as ‘bonkers’ in last month’s End of month view. (Both lavender beds are shown in the foreground of the top photo).
Here you can see the old Allium Purple Sensation dead heads in amongst the lavender. The colour of the lavender is picked up by the Veronicastrum behind, with a yellow flowering Euphorbia for contrast (and the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis)
The shady bed is continuing to look lush, despite the hot weather, and the inherited rose is flowering well
and the hostas were also looking great, right up until the scaffolders came and planted their scaffold and ladder on them.
A new addition this month is my raised cutting beds which were made out of some repurposed greenhouse staging. I’m a bit concerned as to how shallow they are, but whenever I pull up annuals at the end of the season the roots never go very deep so I hope with food and water they’ll do ok. I’ve already cut some Amaranthus viridis, Molucella laevis as well as the Marigold, Calendula Sunset Buff, but the vast majority are still to come.
Meanwhile, in the veg bed, the Diving Lady’s pool runneth over (and is being invaded by courgette leaves), but at least she now has plenty to look at:
As well as three different sort of courgettes (yes, I know, too many altogether), I’ve planted French Beans (Cobra), Runner Beans (Painted Lady and Polestar), Chard Bright Lights, Cavalo Nero, Mange Tout, Sugar Snap peas and Pumpkin Munchkin.
And on the staging, second waves of beans and peas (which need to go out), various seedlings (the ones in the foreground are Abutilons) and cuttings, as well as in the grow bags some (rather diminutive) peppers and aubergines.
And to finish, the most exciting development. After some weeks’ persuasion, the OH has finally agreed that we can lose some lawn to make another bed (see hose line below) as long as ‘he doesn’t have to dig it’. Wish me luck!
With many thanks, as ever, to Helen at the Patient Gardener, for hosting everyone’s End of Month views.